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Safety Pilot: A deadly invincibility

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2010

One of the necessarily frustrating things about NTSB reports is that they generally do a good job of telling us what happened, but the why is often left to interpretation and the imagination. This month’s “Landmark Accident” fits that description perfectly and leaves us to wonder why the pilot made the decisions he did.


Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2010

It’s a gorgeous winter day, ideal for flying, even if the flying involves a checkride. Sweating through a checkride is what I’m supposed to be doing right now.

Turbine Edition: Raising the Bar

Article | Oct 01, 2007

Here's your chance to experience training in a sophisticated multi-million-dollar simulator — welcome to the turbine training world. But after you have paid the deposit for that new turboprop or very light jet (VLJ), you may discover that any deficiencies in your pilot skills could double or triple the length and expense of training.

Flying Seasons

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2007

The weather says fly! Are you ready? The weather is great, the temperature is just right, and a light breeze wafts the familiar scent of avgas across the tarmac. This is a perfect day to fly.


Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2006

Putting your professional side to work on every flight Bent metal, charred wreckage, and ruined lives point to the many failures in pilot decision making, but the clues to what makes a competent pilot decision maker are far from clear. Competence in aeronautical decision making is quite different from the skills that we learn in becoming pilots.


Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2006

Worldwide tips on emergency landings "Surprise yourself by closing the throttle without premeditation or assessing the wind direction and strength, and break it off when you are in an ideal position because the hard part is already done."—Edward Jones, Cabair College of Air Training Actually the prop usually windmills if engine power is lost but "The prop windmills here" just didn't work as a title. In preparing this article, I heard that there are flight schools in the world where props are intentionally stopped — to be clear, at these schools the engines in single-engine airplanes are shut down during routine training.


Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2006

A man's got to know his limitations It seems there's been a lot of bad aviation karma in the news lately: a boundary fence overrun at Chicago Midway International Airport on an icy and snowy night; a wing strike during landing on a windy evening in Alaska; a crash in Greece because no one seemed to speak the same language. It didn't hit me immediately, but I eventually realized that all these accidents involved airlines, and even further, the Boeing 737, the same airplane I fly.


Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2006

Staying sharp when time is short When we posed the question of proficiency to AOPA members, we asked what specific procedures and maneuvers they would practice to stay proficient if they only had an hour, or a single flight, in which to accomplish these tasks every month. Let's set aside the debate for a moment, which begs the question: Can a pilot stay proficient while flying one hour a month? "I don't think I can stay sharp anymore.


Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2006

Is dependence on GPS steering you wrong? Doctors at Wright State University in Dayton call it "in-flight geographic disorientation," or IGD. It means you get lost, land at the wrong airport, but at least can say, "I got down (IGD)." The better-publicized cases of landing at the wrong airport involve airlines, and you'll find 70 examples from over the years by following the Internet link at the end of this article.


Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2006

Depending on fuel gauges is not a good idea Research shows that just about every other day a general aviation airplane is involved in an accident in the United States because of fuel starvation, exhaustion, or contamination. This statistic doesn't even include incidents or unreported events.

Do the right thing

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2006

Bruce Landsberg, ASF's executive director, is a CFII who has been making aeronautical decisions for more than 30 years. Want to get into trouble in an aircraft? There's no better way to do it faster than to make poor decisions.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2005

Retired airline captain Barry Schiff writes from Southern California. It used to be that transitioning from one airplane to another required only becoming familiar with the "new" airplane's systems, performance, and handling characteristics.


Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2005

Aviation journalist Mark R. Twombly and his two partners own a Piper Aztec.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2004

John S. Yodice is the secretary and general counsel for the AOPA board of trustees.

Weekend Currency

Article | May 01, 2004

In a perfect world, we'd never have to worry about staying proficient because we would fly — a lot. Money would be no object.

Member Guide

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2003

AOPA ASF Keeping your skills up to date The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's interactive online courses offer a free and easy way to keep your pilot skills updated. All have been approved by the FAA for Wings Pilot Proficiency Awards Program credit and offer official completion certificates suitable for framing.

How to Be a RAIM-Maker

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2003

GPS is a powerful tool but you need to do some planning in order to get the most out of it, and that means understanding an important aeronautical decision-making (ADM) tool called RAIM prediction. It's built right into your panel-mount GPS.

Ask ASF's database

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2002

Bruce Landsberg, ASF's executive director, still flies regularly—despite reviewing ASF's database. Would you like to learn more about safe flying? Learning from history is a great way to avoid repeating it.

Answers for Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2002

Stay proficient and fly safe A lot can happen in six months. Then again, sometimes nothing happens in six months.

Putting an accident into perspective

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2001

Bruce Landsberg has served as executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation since 1992. Invariably, after an accident the news media will ask the questions they think the public wants answered.


Article | Sep 01, 2001

Thomas B. Haines has served as editor in chief of AOPA Pilot since 1994.

Ounce of Prevention Part 3 of 12

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2001

"Just a little bit lower..." Lack of aeronautical information was killing too many pilots in 1930 and 1931, prompting Elrey B. Jeppesen to start his famous black book.

After an Accident

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2000

Everyone in aviation knows that certain emergencies are just too dangerous to practice with any degree of authenticity. The off-airport landing and the low-altitude engine failure on takeoff are good examples; no one is going to ask you to land in the treetops, or demand that you make a critical maneuvering decision with no margin for error, 500 feet above the runway, just to see if you can carry it off.